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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

11/25/2004

Cradle Robbing

Children whose experience of education begins as young as two are likely to have up to a year's head start over those who are exclusively cared for at home, leading professors of education reported yesterday.
the guardian
Perfect. Now we have the state telling us that if you start teaching a kid to read when he or she is two they will do better when they are seven. Of course there are some downsides...apparently kids raised in nurseries tend to be just a titch more anti-social than those raised at home. But, not to worry, that disappears at seven.

The agenda of the study was make crystal clear by the minister,
Margaret Hodge, the children's minister, said the research brought decisive reassurance for parents having pangs of guilt about putting their children into a nursery at a young age.

"This stunning, comprehensive piece of research means we can now say definitively, for the first time, that high quality pre-school experiences have lasting effects ... throughout the early years of primary school," she said.
What is remarkable about this is that the conclusions were based on the kids' performance at seven. By which point the high achieving daycare kids had been in the states care for five years!

Is it just me or is something rather drastically wrong with a society which prizes seven year old reading performance enough to haul kids away from their parents at two? I guess I am really old fashioned but I thought Sam and his friend Westin were learning lots yesterday in the rain as they tried, with four year old gusto, to delimb a cedar tree with a rusty, blunt saw. ("Can we use the good saw, Daddy?") But I suspect digging deep holes, imagining that you are running a construction site and arborial studies were not tested by the British education profs.